At the age of seven, all I wanted to wear was a pair of parachute pants from the now defunct MKOne. I had some, a khaki pair with the random shreds of fabric hanging off. I wore them with a white t-shirt with contrast khaki sleeves (I believed in colour co-ordination at this age), which had a weird sparkly dog cartoon on it and some totally unrelated slogan.
When I was 17, I was fully entrenched in the high-waisted shorts look. I owned countless pairs, mostly from Miss Selfridge, and would team them with a floral backless blouse (of which I also had countless), tights and high heels in an overly-glamorous get-up to take myself to my local Wetherspoons.
By the time I was 19, I had invested big time in Zara’s patterned blouses, which I buttoned up tightly around my neck and teamed with ‘statement’ jeans from Topshop, accessorised with a bedazzled bug pendant necklace of some kind.
My point is this: a large portion of my style throughout my life has been determined by an adherence to trends. I have always bought into key trends each season, only to cast these trends aside when the next season rolls around. Very few pieces of my wardrobe are enduring, the oldest being, rather shockingly, the dress from my 21st birthday (I’m not 24). That has only survived so long out of emotional attachment. So the only thing in my wardrobe that has avoided my cruel whims has still only been around for three years.
Take, for example, the ‘cold shoulder’ trend so prevalent throughout the summer. Off the shoulder or a cut-out sleeve, whatever form it came in, the exposed shoulder was de rigeur throughout the warmer months. Obviously, this is a trend. But was it so done to death, particularly on the high street, that it become a cliché? Or can it simply be appreciated as a passing highlight for S/S16?
I invested whole-heartedly in this trend in the form of a couple of off the shoulder tops, which I love despite how restrictive they have turned out to be. I fell head over heels for this silky Topshop number featured in this post, and wore it to death. I also went for another Topshop hit, a peachy pink cold-shoulder top.
And then suddenly September rolled around and I was, at the risk of sounding frivolous, a bit bored. I sold the pink top on eBay but have clung onto the silk-effect number with the hope that it continues to appeal to me. I soon found myself bored almost to irritation at the sight of exposed shoulder striped shirts in Zara and Topshop. There’s only so many times someone can cut out a shoulder from a standard work shirt and charge extra for it, after all.
I find it difficult to get the balance between experimenting with trends and actually spending wisely. I’ve obviously grown a lot stricter with buying things that I hope I’ll like in a year’s time to avoid the same mass exodus on my wardrobe, however it seems old habits die hard, if I’m still falling for items which end up cast aside.
Tastes change, I’ll grant myself that concession, but realistically I will always want to wear a pair of skinny jeans and a black tee of some kind. Knowing this, perhaps a peach, off the shoulder top wasn’t a sage purchase. Experimentation is good, but in the future, buying one piece per trend is perhaps a more sensible idea…